After leading us a merry dance last week, Iona and Fingal, our pair of white-tailed eagles nesting in Tiroran Forest, Glen Seilisdeir on the Isle of Mull, have decided to nest in a different location this year. Finally, on Friday, they settled for a completely new nest site in a sheltered location in the broken top of a Sitka spruce and Iona hunkered down late in the afternoon to start laying eggs. Last years juvenile, Orion, even put in an appearance, watching his parents take up position on the nest.
After a wet winter, this last week on Mull has been sunny, and the birds have had time to take stock of the choices of nest location: they had re-built last years nest after it had slightly subsided on two occasions and were still roosting in the tree above until the last moment. Now comes the long anxious wait as they take it in turns to sit on the eggs, and we all hope that this year they raise at least two young successfully..
Luckily, even though the nest site is further away, there are great views down onto the nest from the hide and we have powerful telescopes to enable visitors to see Iona and Fingal tending the eggs. We are also able to see much more of the flight of the birds to and from the nest, and have the spectacular backdrop of Ben More, the highest mountain on Mull. Mull Eagle Watch trips start tomorrow, Monday 31st March, and run each weekday at 10am and 1pm. To book telephone 01680 812556 or check out the websites www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/mulleagles or www.forestry.gov.uk/mullseaeagles and check out www.facebook.com/mullseaeagles
Spring has sprung on the beautiful isle of Mull with primroses and colts-foot flowering in the warm sunshine of the last couple of days. Frogspawn is developing in the ponds and small birds are singing: our local wren has been calling from dawn 'til dusk, only out-competed by the repetitive call of a male song thrush singing its heart out from the top of a spruce tree. A pair of great tits has already occupied one of the nestboxes and are defending it from all-comers.
2014 is going to be an exciting year for Mull Eagle Watch with new features including digi-scoping and webcam, and a new Forestry Commission Ranger. Less than 2 weeks to go until the trips begin on Monday 31st March. Iona and Fingal are all set for egg-laying, so let's hope they have a successful incubation and manage to raise 2 chicks as they did in 2012. Trips take place at 10am and 1pm each weekday. To book ring 01680 812 556.
John Clare. RSPB Community Information & Tourism Officer, isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull white-tailed eagles are busy nest-building - getting ready to lay eggs sometime soon. The Mull Eagle Watch rangers are also gearing up ready for another season showing visitors our pair, Iona and Fingal, at Glen Seilisdeir. We are aiming for an even better year than last year, when we retained our top 5-star Visit Scotland rating and achieved the highest marks from our 'Mystery Visitor'. if you live on Mull or are visiting the island this year, we would advise booking your trip to Mull Eagle Watch to avoid disappointment - telephone 01680 812 556 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/mulleagles or www.forestry.gov.uk/mullseaeagles
If you are thinking of visiting Mull and haven.t booked anywhere to stay yet, check out eaglecottageisleofmull.com